The night featured plenty of celebration. Mariah Carey and No Doubt (Gwen Stefani) were part of the musical performances. Phil Simms, Ottis Anderson and Michael Strahan were showing off Lombardi Trophies from previous seasons. The pregame festivities were capped off when Queen Latifah sang the National Anthem. That was followed up by the only thing that truly mattered: the football game.
Yet, it didn't have the fairy tale ending that football fans have become accustomed to. The Giants took a 3-0 lead in the second quarter. However, the Cowboys scored 24 of the next 31 points. They won 24-17.
The Giants are the first team since 1999 to lose their Week 1 game as a defending Super Bowl champion. They're also the first defending Super Bowl champion to have lost in the NFL Kickoff Game. Since its inception in 2004, the home team had an 8-0 record. Make that 8-1.
Here are the most-recent teams who have started their seasons on a similar note. Did they recover? Of the last five teams who suffered an identical fate in Week 1, four of them were NFC East representatives.
1991: Super Bowl champions
1992: 9-7, Divisional Playoffs
What happened the last time when the Cowboys defeated the defending Super Bowl champions in Week 1? They won three of the next four Super Bowls.
The Redskins were the Super Bowl champions of 1991. However, they were upstaged by a young Cowboys team in their Week 1 opener during 1992. The Cowboys won 23-10. The Redskins earned some payback with a 20-17 victory in Week 15. The Cowboys wouldn't lose again.
1992: Super Bowl champions
1993: Super Bowl champions
The Cowboys had ruined the Redskins' opener in 1992. The Redskins returned the favor with a 35-16 Week 1 victory in 1993. In Week 2, the Cowboys lost their home opener against the Buffalo Bills.
The Cowboys got revenge against both teams. They had a 38-3 victory over the Redskins in Week 17. The Cowboys also won their second consecutive Super Bowl with a 30-13 victory over the Bills.
1995: Super Bowl champions
1996: 10-6, Divisional Playoffs
The Cowboys had won their third Lombardi Trophy in four seasons. They started 1996 with a 22-6 loss to the Chicago Bears. The Cowboys lost three of their first four games. They finished the season with a 10-6 record. The Cowboys defeated the Minnesota Vikings in the wild-card round, 40-15. Since then, the Cowboys have had one playoff victory.
Green Bay Packers enthusiasts were disappointed because they didn't get a "Showdown in Titletown" meeting in the NFC Championship. Those fans had to settle for a regular-season meeting in 1997. The Packers won 45-17.
1998: Super Bowl champions
1999: 6-10, No Playoffs
Led by John Elway, Terrell Davis and a strong defense, the Denver Broncos had won back-to-back Super Bowls. However, all great things must come to an end: Elway retired. The Brian Griese era was about to begin.
The Broncos started that season with four consecutive losses. They finished with a 6-10 record. Injuries started to take their toll on Davis. He only appeared in four games that season.
2011: Super Bowl champions
2012: To Be Determined
2000 Through 2011
2001: Baltimore Ravens (Vs. Chicago Bears; 17-6 Win)
2003: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at Philadelphia Eagles; 17-0 Win)
2005: New England Patriots (Vs. Oakland Raiders; 30-20 Win)
2008: New York Giants (Vs. Washington Redskins, 16-7 Win)
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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